Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"They say one of a baby's first non-verbal forms of communication is pointing. Clicking must be somewhere just after that."

Oh, people.

If your computer ever implodes and contracts some sort of weirdo virus and downloads porn (really!) and all sorts of other nasty stuff and then displays the Blue Screen of Death, and then you call Dell (via India) and they are more concerned with your expired warranty than helping you, and then they also tell you that you should have in your possession an actual system recovery disk without which you can do nothing...and so you rip your house apart looking for the dang thing and you find two of them but neither is for YOUR computer...but then it turns out your husband knows enough to know that your system recovery disk is actually ON your hard drive...and then he backs up all your files but forgets your Outlook address book and any of your Firefox bookmarks....and then you have to sneak around to get your hands on a copy of Windows 2007 because you used an employee copy perfectly legally from your old job but you no longer work there...and your version of Word 2003 requires a key you don't have handy so you can't write the blog post you have been meaning to write for the past two weeks...not that you've really had time to read anything what with attending funerals and cooking dinners for unappreciative children and all...and you finally have time but then the baby wakes up screaming exactly twenty minutes after you have finally gotten the other three boys to bed...?

If this happens to you?

Have another drink.
Or two.

Or five.

It worked for me.

So far.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

"...the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them."*

My Aunt K died last night. It was probably expected by some (she was in her mid-eighties and had not been especially well these past two years), but a demented cousin withheld critical info from the family, and it came as a shock to me. I will - I WANT - to write a post about my aunt, but not right now, as I am planning a trip home for the funeral. She was amazing and wonderful, and I loved her very much.

And in other, much less important news: my laptop bit it yesterday - apparently I did something to my security settings and it downloaded a virus (along with all sorts of other nasty, icky stuff), and then the Blue Screen of Death appeared. I can't open the OS, not even in Safe Mode. And my warranty is expired. (And of course - OF COURSE - there was a half-edited dissertation on there, not backed up because I wasn't finished with it yet. Sigh.)

So I will be out of commission, and contact, for a bit.

The silver lining in the laptop situation is that the demise of the laptop has forced me to do other things with my time (since the desktop is ALL. THE. WAY. UP. on the third floor.) So I have finished reading two books, and am almost done two more, and have started another. So I will have lots to tell you when I do return.

(I am waiting for the silver lining to appear around Aunt K's death. Perhaps it's that I will get my two littlest guys to Jersey to meet the rest of my ancient aunts and uncles.)


My dear Aunt K
1920-something - September 12, 2008
(Her birthday is today, 9/13; as near as we can figure, she was 83 or 84.)

*"The Crow"

Monday, September 08, 2008

"Most men do not spend a lot of time fretting about the size of their pants."*

Fact #287,952 it is good to know about one's husband:

He fits into size 16 women's jeans.

In fact, they are too big for him.

Fortunately (for me but also for him), they are too big for me as well.

They join their other large siblings to take the one-way trip to Goodwill.

*Dave Barry

Sunday, September 07, 2008

"His heart was three sizes too small..."

I am a rotten person.
I know this about myself.
I am not kind or loving or particularly nice. I try to make people feel welcome in my home but the graciousness and ease of the natural hostess do not come easily to me.
I tend to yell at my kids more than cuddle them, and my husband has actually complained about my utter lack of physical affection.
I am fairly self-absorbed. I am anti-social and most nights would rather sit at home with a book than go out with friends, regardless of how wonderful my friends are (and miraculously, I do seem to have wonderful friends who put up with me for unbeknownst-to-me reasons).
I tend to like smart people and patronize stupid people.
I am most definitely an elitist. I assure you, Obama's got nothing on me.

I know all these things about myself. I am mostly ok with them because I have tried to fix the ones that bother me (the hostess one) and don't really care about some of them (the elitist part).

But I shocked myself with my reaction this morning to the following incident:

An elderly woman hobbling down the path to her car stopped and made a point of calling to my husband, "Sir! Sir, I was watching you in church and watching you just now, and you are a terrific father, a fine father. I am sure you're a wonderful husband and son too. But I was watching you, and you are a wonderful father."

Did I swell with pride (because H is indeed a fine father, indeed, more than a fine father, an exemplary father)?
Did I mentally pat myself on the back for picking such a good man and having the foresight to marry him?

I pretty much ignored the entire little incident (in my defense, I had my arms full of slobbering, crying baby at the moment) and I thought - snarled - to myself, "What the f*&! am I, chopped liver?"


Thursday, September 04, 2008

"He was observant of a world he didn't understand but he told a wonderful story."*

"This [crack in the sidewalk] looks like a shark."

"These are little pancakes!" (No, I have no clue what he means...)

"Mickey Mouse!"

"Idy likes the sun."

"Quarto lost his hat!" (half a block back...)

"Mommy's wearing her new shoes."

"People live here now." (The house finally sold.)

"This one has a sign now!" (House next door is now up for sale.)


"This [walking backwards] is fun."

And the question is...?

*Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"I lost on Jeopardy, baby..."

Another gimme, but I am warming up. Thanks for playing. And somebody please give me a link to Eleanor so I can read her.

Today's answers:

A (childless) neighbour who parks his car in front of my house. Necessitating shepherding four kids across the street or carrying groceries down the block.

The neverending noise of lawncare implements.

The pool closed yesterday; temps this week are predicted to be near 90.

The rate at which my children outgrow their shoes.

They inform me of this at 8 am on a gym day.

Night terrors.

Scratched DVDs from the library.

I can’t renew library DVDs online.

Seg’s tendency to preface Every. Single. Thing. he says with “Mommy?”

Terzo‘s reluctance for diaper changes but his equal reluctance for potty-training.

Tomorrow: Something else clever. Trust me.
And has Liz had her baby yet?

*Weird Al Yankovic

Monday, September 01, 2008

"Brown paper packages tied up with string..."*

In an effort to kickstart my hibernating writing mojo, I am trying a few different things (remember the boxes gimmick?)

The first is the 100 Word Blog Post. Kim swiped it from someone I don't read, and I am swiping it from Kim. (If I got the genealogy wrong, I apologize.)

I am thinking of coupling it with a Jeopardy-style quiz (although all I can think of is, "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?")

Here we go, the first outing. Leave the answer (in the form of a question, natch) in comments:

Turkey Hill Coconut Cream Pie and Baskin-Robbins Nutty Coconut ice creams.

BLTs, homegrown tomatoes dripping juice down my wrists, with a glass of iced tea, some SunChips, and organic carrots.

Bacardi cocktails topped off with seltzer. (I do feel a little funny drinking a pink drink.)

Ricky Gervaise and “Extras.”

More specifically, Gervaise’s wonderful laugh. Simply hearing it makes me happy.

Cooler evenings.

Cynthia Kaplan’s Leave the Building Quickly

The Baby rocking back and forth and then flinging himself headlong to gain more ground in his quest to circumvent the first floor.

Segundo trouncing H and Primo at real Monopoly.


*C'mon, this was a gimme.